Will & Tracy

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Destiny's Child

Haven’t we talked of destiny for years in theories, movies, songs, etc…John O’Sullivan’s Manifest Destiny and even OB1 Kenobi got into this destiny talk with Luke. We all should be experts on the subject by now, right? In my humble opinion, I think that some higher power does have the ultimate plan all laid out for each of us. But really, regardless of what your beliefs are, I think that it is best to leave well enough alone and enjoy what life has to offer. Just think, can you imagine me any more of a worrywart than I already am if I thought I could change my destiny? Then I’d have to tell my husband that I was born a Skywalker and that would mess up so many things.

Obviously the Chinese and I don’t necessarily see eye to eye on this point. The Chinese think that this year (the year of the Golden Pig) is especially lucky – and one of the reasons why every other Chinese woman walking down the street is pregnant. They think their child and in turn their entire family will have luck and wealth because of the date, day, and time the family chooses for this child to be born. Note that I say, they CHOOSE the child’s birth date and schedule a c-section (China has about 60% c-section rate, and higher in urban areas). Are they changing destiny or was this the baby’s destiny to begin with – so confusing – I’m getting a headache.

I realize that we all have our superstitions and lucky charms and sometimes many of us think we can change or improve our destiny with a little luck. But whether you believe in God, destiny, or whatever… If you do believe that your life has a plan of some sort, how far are you willing to go to tweak it? Do you think if your parents chose your birth date your life would be better or worse? This could be the ultimate nature versus nurture discussion.

A very abrupt European gentleman came in with his daughter in law (who is Chinese – his wife is also Chinese) on Friday. He tells me he is an expert on C-sections (he has seen his wife’s so naturally he is an expert) and wants to talk to the MD about performing a c-section on a particular date and time with a certain kind of incision. I had to force myself not to roll my eyes as I walked him into our head OB MD’s office. He proceeded to talk to the MD and explained his future grandson’s destiny based on numerology charts by being born on August whatever… As our MD calculated it out, it meant that this joker wanted the doctor to perform the c-section on his daughter in law at 34 weeks pregnant – a full 6 weeks before her official due date and a good 3 weeks premature.

I held my breath as this discussion went forward and knowing that if our doctor agreed, that I was putting in my resignation letter. Much to my relief, he actually told the guy he was nuts and he wouldn’t do it. However, he wrote down a name of another OB/Gyn in town that if you paid him a little under the table (I found out later how common this is in China – gasp to think where else this may happen) that he will do the c-section on whatever date and time you request – regardless of gestation of the child to be born. In talking to our MD about this afterwards, he explained how often he gets this (scary!) – and it will only be worse this year - so I added, why don’t I just get you a pig suit that you can dress up in for every c-section this year and that way you can charge extra? To profit from destiny? …I shutter.

Friday, April 20, 2007


Yes, even in China they have beer bitches that sell things as you float down the Li River - and yes, yes, that is a fried fish on a stick! No, No, that is not what I ate to cause my food poisoning. Scenery shots of Yangshuo, little boys in a local village were so adorable and actually posed for me - I just had to pedal fast to get away from their Grandmother who came running around the corner yelling "money money" for the picture I took. I'm sure one of her few English words. Then of course - can never forget a group shot of the happy couples - before Mao's misery!

(just added more pictures of our Yangshuo trip 5/13 - click link above)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Colonix or Food poisoning – you decide…

Well, that could lead to a rather graphic blog discussing the pros and cons of the those two lovely thoughts and why should a little food poisoning and an early morning spent in a “local” Chinese hospital prevent me from saying that Yangshuo (Yahng – Shwah) was really one of the most gorgeous places I’ve ever visited. But I do have to say, I am not that impressed with the local Chinese health care system. I mean, even if you don’t speak English, how difficult is it to figure out what is wrong with me when I’m puking my guts out in the ER’s trashcan? It took him a good 15 minutes, several baffled expressions and 2 more rounds of me filling up his own office trash can to write things down. Then he still prescribed oral medication for my vomiting – moron. What do I expect for $10? At least I did convince him that I needed some IV fluids. Who knew that my IV drug charade act would do the trick. But for the record, waving your hand behind your behind to signify fluid loss down below didn't seem to get the point across. Eh, 1/1, looks like my charades training since moving to China hasn't improved (for those that remember my "Oooaaatttmeeealll Baaatthhhh" attempt). In the end, I went home feeling only a little better and a few pounds lighter.

So our second round of visitors – SUCCESS! – The Wartgows have come and gone and are now probably basking in the Southeast Asian sun. Boy we love hanging out with them - and Jeff even joined me for a taste of Mao’s Misery (aka Delhi Belly, Montezuma’s Revenge, et al.), although he managed to avoid the hospital scene. However, I truly think by now his stomach must be lined with steel after making trips to all 7 continents. Rock star!

Of course, like all good adventure travelers do (I am voted in by default because I married one), we already started planning our next trip to see how much more we can shock our parents – so we decided on LIBYA!! Home to one of our all time favorite dictators - Muammar al-QADHAFI– hey it was that or North Korea Mom – I think we are making the wise choice. Yes, mom, I already checked the CIA travel warnings – Libya has been off it for years – years I tell you!

Okay okay – I’ve finally downloaded pictures, but I wanted to at least post a blog… so they will be up in another day or so. Ya gotta cut the workin’ girl some slack!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Tiny bubbles and small miracles…

Okay, so I don’t know what tiny bubbles have to do with anything, but today I was going into a meeting with my direct manager and the chief OB MD to “discuss” my role and responsibilities as they saw them. I had a sinking feeling these were not the same roles and responsibilities as Mark the GM and I discussed just a precious 3 weeks ago. Yeah, that 3 day work week, but still getting paid full time was too good to be true.

I warned my husband that there is a possibility that I may get fired today because I didn’t want to work full time (and where do I get this after working full time for the past 12 years??)…. And my lovely hubby said without hesitation I might add…”That’s cool baby. Then you’ll get to come home early, kick back with a glass of wine and finish the laundry.” ☺ Dear dear sweet husband, laundry? But I smile anyway because at least the pressure is off.

However, instead of me getting to go home early, they gave me more things to do (that’s the ESFJ people pleasing sucker in me). In exchange for this added responsibility and new title (Perinatal Coordinator), they agreed that I needed a desk! So after I returned from lunch, low and behold, Alice presented me with my space. Where you ask is this space? Does it matter – really - any guesses?? – it is warm, lots of wires….

Yes, indeed, my desk is in the closet space of the server room. That’ll teach me to complain. At least it is not the bathroom. No, no, I really don’t mind at all - I just have to explain to my family why I’m back in the closet. Although my boss said I could leave the door open - how sweet!

Any design tips for small spaces?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Lost in Translation...

So by now everyone probably has guessed that I’m a smart ass or brilliantly witty as some would say (ok, that was just me). So after having a couple martinis and writing my last blog (hey, it was the end of a hard week) – I thought I’d ante up again for some food for thought.

Work has been tough...tougher than I imagined it would be. In one week, I went from wondering when I was getting a desk, computer, and phone to knowing that I’m not going to be getting a desk, computer or phone. Knowledge is power and so it only took me 6 days to realize that, no, I won't be getting oriented, I have to ask questions as I go and fend for myself. Its all good.

However, I do feel the hardest part of my job is communication – and its not even with the Chinese – it is trying to understand the personalities and humor of the French, the Germans, The Swiss and the South Americans and damn them when they don’t get the quirky humor of this American.

So yeah, I know one shouldn’t joke about any baby’s paternity, but it is fun to talk a little smack to your friends and say “Whose yo baby daddy?” I know, it’s a little passé, but haven’t we all said that at one time or another? But I’m just sayin’ that you gotta be a little more pc at an International hospital. So when I went in to see this lovely German couple to see how everything was going and to check on baby – I thought it was safe to say –“Your baby is beautiful, you can definitely tell who daddy is” - I wish I could have shown you the priceless look on their face (and mine) when they replied deadpan “well, that was what we were expecting.” And trying to go back and explain what I really meant…yeah, too late. -1 pt for me.

So after that fiasco, my ego and brilliantly witty personality went somewhere into the abyss. That is until Saturday’s prenatal class and the summit of European parents walked in – with one Chilean couple thrown in for fun. It wasn’t helping my fragile ego that the morning was passing by with all of them staring at me and/or taking notes until we started talking about the actual delivery and if any of them had seen one “live.” Well as we were discussing smells and bodily fluids, I was debating whether or not to throw in the big guns with this crowd to get them to loosen up a little bit. But hey, what are they going to do, fire me? Since I think that would be my lucky day, I chuckle to myself and then lay it on them. The fans go wild! So remember, even in the remotest parts of Africa or the upscale London ‘hoods, this phrase never gets lost in translation… “Everybody poops.”

Friday, April 06, 2007

Where or where has my little blog gone...

Okay folks - guess what I'm typin' on - my NEW macbook! My husband rocks! As my friend Sarah said - it you ever want a good present - leave the hopes for diamonds behind and ask for some kind of audio, visual, tech-y equipment from your man. The most bang for your buck for sure - no diamonoids or even diamond chips from this man - oh no - we are talking a new a computer. I've got him pegged. All I had to do was just a touch of whining saying - "baby - they haven't even given me a computer or a desk yet, so I've had to lug this big ole Dell laptop back and forth to work. My back hurts."...hmmm, what else can I add in there...

I had a new computer within 18 hours! Score! And it is so cute. :) Shhh...lets not talk about the fact my husband works for Dell.

So back to my original reason for writing - to apologize for not giving anyone an update after my first week on the job. Thanks to those of you sending emails to check up on me to see how shell shocked I was this week. Bottom line is - I survived - but barely. I only shed a tear on the third day when I realized I could work there 80 hours a week and still not get enough accomplished. I don't know if I will survive, but I figure I need to get my first paycheck to pay for the computer my husband bought me!

Week 1 down.... on deck - visit from Jeff and Kim Wartgow (fellow Dell folks working in Scotland!) and a trip to Guilin!!